Wyeth Tootle Mansion
Date:13th November, 2015 Type:Business
Location Title:Wyeth Tootle Mansion City/State:St. Joseph, MO
Investigation Times:09:00 PM - 01:00 AM Status:Analysis
Sunrise:07:01 AM Sunset:05:05 PM
High Temperature:60 °F Low Temperature:28 °F
Sky Condition:Clear Wind:SSW at 4 mph
Lunar Phase:Waxing Crescent % disk visible:4%
Solar X-Rays:Normal Geomagnetic Field:Unsettled
St. Joseph is known for its quantity of beautiful mansions built around the turn of the 20th century, and the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion at the corner of Eleventh and Charles Streets is a prime example.
William and Eliza Wyeth moved to St. Joseph in 1859, and William soon developed his small wholesale-retail business into the prosperous Wyeth Hardware and Manufacturing Company and Wyeth Saddle Factory. In 1879, the Wyeths hired architect E.J. Eckel to design this 43-room, Gothic style mansion with a panoramic view of the city and the Missouri River. A unique feature was the turret on the north side, which made the mansion resemble a castle. Over one million bricks were used in the construction. The front of the building was covered with native sandstone. The Wyeths decorated the interior with ornate parquet floors and walnut woodwork. The front part of the house, which has the sandstone exterior, was the family residence. The rear extension with the brick exterior housed the kitchen, pantries, and servants' quarters. The first floor, with its large rooms opening onto a central hall, was mainly used for entertaining. The second floor contained bedroom suites, and the third floor served as servant workrooms and bedrooms. The tower contained an entrance on the north side of the house and a staircase to the first floor. The Wyeths lived in their castle-home for less than ten years. In the spring of 1887, they sold the home to Mrs. Kate Tootle.
Kate Tootle was the recent widow of Milton Tootle, Sr., Milton's obituary identified him as "the builder of the prosperity of St. Joseph and the leader of its 'Golden Age.'" His business interests included mercantile establishments, the Western Bank of Missouri, and the Tootle Opera House. At his death, he had amassed the largest fortune of any individual in the city. Kate continued with many of his business interests. After purchasing the home, she hired the New York firm of Pottier and Stymus to redecorate the interior. The main hall featured a walnut paneled ceiling and an elaborately carved staircase. The parquet floors, in keeping with the style of the time, were almost entirely covered with area rugs and furniture. Two stained glass windows were added on the stairway landings. One resembled a Renaissance-style painting, and the other is of beautifully cut stained glass. The ceilings were covered with canvases of Austrian artists. Kate's son, Milton Tootle, Jr., was the next occupant of the house. He and his wife, Lillian, added a large porch to the south side and a family dining room on the southeast side. A 1932 newspaper article described Milton Tootle's home: "The ceilings were painted in Europe, and the walls were lined with heavy draperies, nearly an inch thick, with elaborate handwork appliques made of materials the manufacture of which has become a lost art. And charming objects of art on every side intrigue the imagination and aid in the creation of an esthetic atmosphere."
The rooms on the first floor were the French Reception Room of black and gold woodwork, the Louis the XVI sitting room with cherubs painted on the ceiling, the library, the formal dining room, the Moorish Room with its Middle Eastern decor, and the Early American family dining room. At the rear of the first floor were the servants' dining and food preparation room, as well as a kitchen.
When Milton Tootle, Jr. died in 1946, the home became available for purchase. William Goetz, St. Joseph Museum board president, and the M.K. Goetz Brewing Company donated the money to purchase the building and the museum matched the amount to adapt the private home into a public museum. After sixty years as a museum, the first floor of the building is being restored to its Victorian grandeur and furnishings are being added. The formal dining room on the first floor is complete with Wyeth family china, furnishings, and portraits. Photographs of the home taken around 1900 are on exhibit throughout the building. The second floor features a restored Victorian bedroom and exhibits on the architecture of the famous St. Joseph architect E.J. Eckel. Eckel designed the 1879 Mansion and 75 percent of the structures in St. Joseph. Other featured exhibits include the impact of early St. Joseph businesses that had a national impact such as the Chase Candy Company, Hillyard Chemical Company, and the M.K. Goetz Brewing Company. The third floor contains exhibits on the natural history of the area.
Christina Anderson:As a person that spent a great deal of time in St. Joseph, I can recall the mansion’s days as the St. Joseph Museum. It was wonderful to get to see the hard work and dedication that has gone into restoring this mansion to its former glory. Gone are the boarded up windows and nondescript, institutional rooms of days past. It was truly a pleasure to visit this important piece of St. Joseph’s history.
We began the investigation on the first floor in what would have been a ladies’ receiving room or parlor. Nothing of significance occurred here, although some shadow movement was seen in other rooms from this viewpoint.
The next location on this floor that we checked out was the large ballroom with the trompe l’oeil parquet floor. The position I took in the room, near the main entry and several feet inside, was extremely cold, and I felt very uneasy here. I moved to other spots in the room, but each time I returned to this specific spot, it was very cold. During the time that I felt this cold spot, multiple team members came over, and confirmed that this area was indeed, cold. There was no explanation for this temperature difference, as the air surrounding this spot was warmer and any HVAC or ductwork would have impacted those areas as well.
In the doorway separating the dining room and the ballroom, as I stood with Jenny and Lisa, I smelled perfume that went away quickly. I checked both of them, and it was neither of them.
Upon returning to the ballroom, the spot I previously stood in was still extremely cold, and it felt like a person was there. Becky asked me if it felt like a child or an adult, and it definitely felt like an adult. I could not discern whether or not this was masculine or feminine energy. I did feel the sense that they were concerned with the state of the room as a whole, like they were concerned people were disturbing the room. Lisa joined me in this location, and was able to pick up on a feminine impression, and gave details regarding appearance, clothing, etc.
On the way up the stairs to the second floor, perfume was again smelled. On the next floor, several team members and I went into the room with the architectural displays and blueprints on the walls. Initially, there seemed to be an area of energy located right in the middle of the room that both Lisa and I felt, but it went away quickly.
As we moved from the prior room to the Victorian room at the front of the mansion, Sevren and I both felt that someone was watching us from the stairs behind us. I motioned for Lisa to come look, because this sensation was extremely intense. It was, in fact, strong enough that it made me stop in my tracks and say “There is someone on the stairs.” Lisa stated that she saw something coming down the stairs, and that it had stopped. I turned and saw what appeared to be a wavy, dark mist, leaning over the banister with a vaguely human shape. After approximately 20 seconds, it either dissipated or moved away, as did the feeling of being watched.
While in the Victorian room, nothing of note occurred.
Footsteps or similar noises were heard coming from the first floor while standing in the main stairwell on the second floor. This may have been caused by people walking around on the second floor and echoes occurring below.
On the third floor, no experiences were recorded.
Overall, I believe that the mansion is active, but that the activity is varied and unpredictable. I will be reviewing my audio in the coming days and will share any findings.
Angela Hodge:Investigating the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion was very interesting. Enjoyed the architecture of the house and the history of the home, land, the family.
During our walk-thru the care taker was very informative. The house still feels like it has life running through it even though it is empty.
The 1st floor seem to be active at 1st, felt a lot of cold spots, but I am not fully sure if they had any meaning toward as the ventilation in the house comes in all directions at you.
The 2nd floor seemed active at the staircase. I thought I saw what appeared to be a shadow hanging over the rail from the 3rd floor. After staring at the area for a bit i went a bit closer and realized it was my eyes playing tricks on me.
3rd floor was not active for me at all. I felt the floor was just quiet.
All in all enjoyed the visit, hoped it was a bit more active but for me it was not.
Sevren Jacobs:This was my first time ever visiting the Wyeth-Tootle mansion. My primary tools for the night was my notebook, Truthcam35 motion sensor trail cam, Olympus digital voice recorder, and a Sony digital voice recorder.
Upon arrival, we were given a tour which included both inside and outside of the building with a verbal history of the families and the structure.
My IR trail cam and Sony voice recorder were placed next to each other on the second floor of the mansion at the beginning of our investigation. The notebook and Olympus voice recorder remained with me all night.
At approx 22:15 I witnessed the plastic table cloth move slightly, as if it was brushed against. This was on a small table near a fireplace mantle in a room on the first floor. This room also had a cash register and was used as a small gift shop. Upon closer inspection of the room, there is a good chance that a breeze from the ventilation system likely caused the tablecloth to move.
There were also reports from other investigators of a concentrated cold spot in the parlor room on the first floor. I was able to briefly feel a temperature change in the area they mentioned. A few of our group members stated they were sensing a sort of emotional charge in that same spot, with a mention of a strong sensation of sadness or concern. I was there to witness the incident but did not experience any emotional effects.
We eventually went to the second floor and our group split into two connected rooms. Some members were in a room that had blocks and indicated they felt a presence in there with them. Myself and a few other investigators stayed in the attached drafting room. Initially, it felt like there might have been a presence in there with us but the feeling didn't last for long. At approx 23:01 we exited the drafting room. Christina and I were still in the 2nd floor main room and immediately felt that something was watching us from the stairs. Our other teammate, Lisa, joined us and stated she could see some sort of a dark figure slowly descend the stairs coming down from the third floor. I was not able to see the figure, but it was described to us as slow moving and almost curious in nature. I did feel a very intense sense of being watched and my stomach felt as if it was in knots. It didn't feel intimidating or scary in nature, but the other sensations I mentioned were so strong I felt almost frozen where I stood. This incident only lasted a couple of minutes before the shadow and all sensations of being watched quickly dissipated.
While on the second floor, our group heard faint sounds coming from the first floor like someone was walking downstairs, and then a moving sound on the third floor near the stairs.
We continued our investigation and moved on to the third floor where the only exciting thing I encountered was a small bat in the room with the TeePee. Our group returned to the first floor where I didn't experience any additional activity. We concluded our investigation shortly before 1am.
Review of my audio and trail cam footage did not yield any unusual results. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to spend the evening at this location and am appreciative that our group had this opportunity. I would very much like to return to this location in the near future.
Jenny Kerr:When I first entered the house I felt more anxious than normal. My hands and arms were tingling, which is usually my signal that something paranormal is there.
While reviewing audio, a loud bang that resembled something being dropped or a single gunfire was heard at approximately 10:20 pm, but no one acknowledged hearing the sound at the time in question. Speaking with Becky it was determined her audio recorder had been knocked to the wood floor at some point and this is what, more than likely, caused the loud bang.
Shortly afterward Lisa began getting mental images of a woman who worked in the home. The following are my impressions of the same woman. I normally have words pop into my head like a mental voice, this is the first time I have ever been overwhelmed with information about one person. It was rather exhilarating and filled me with energy. It was not scary. But was as if I was recalling information about someone I knew.
At the point that Lisa says the air in her immediate area turned warm from cold, I then felt warm air move past me into the dining room. From that point on I was drawn to the dining room where the room felt very comfortable to be in. The woman is very inviting and would have us sit down and feed us, if she could. I feel like she's a governess or someone comparable to a male butler. She keeps everything in order and in it's place. She took pride in her work, especially the dining room. My impression was she has blue eyes and a turned up nose. She may be Irish. I then felt compelled to go underneath the rope, to the far end of the table by the windows and sit down in a chair in front of the windows which faced the dining table, where I was overwhelmed with information. Lisa asked me what thoughts I was having. I said, Thoughts about the table. She made sure it was set. I got up and walked around the table and said, She knew exactly where the silverware went, the dishes and the glasses and the chairs. She made sure it was perfect. She would walk around the table and make sure each place was perfect. She would stand back from the table and make sure it was perfect. And when she was satisfied she was done and left the dining room. She didn't set the table herself she oversaw the work of others.
On the 2nd floor:
As we all ascended the stairs to the 2nd floor the woman from downstairs followed us up. I felt her warm air go by me. I didn't feel her again until I went to the furnished Victorian style room. While on the 2nd floor in the main room with windows that stretched from floor to ceiling. I felt as if someone had been sick in that room and they often looked out the window.
In the Period Bedroom:
The woman from downstairs is in the room. The room is very comfortable and inviting. However the woman does not like the stroller in the room. She says it does not belong in the room. It belongs in another room. She says everything else is fine, but the stroller needs to go. It needs to be moved. I felt as those she was always cheerful, rarely in a bad mood, possibly had an Irish accent. I could pick her out of a photo. The children of the house liked her and thought of her like a grandmother. She was very loving towards the children. They loved to get hugs from her because they sank into her bosom.
On the 3rd floor:
I felt nothing.
I did not record any EVP's and had no anomalies in photos.
Tania Marg:Upon initial investigation of the house, I did find a few spots that intrigued me. The first was in the parquet floor room near the glass case containing Wedgewood teacups and saucers. There was a spot on the floor that made me feel very odd – no chills or anything, just weird in general. Lisa confirmed that it made her dizzy. Also the threshold at the main doors felt very energetic, and I could tell there had been a lot of coming and going and energy there. Lisa showed me a spot to the direct right of the entrance that had a particularly interesting bit of energy held in it – it felt much like the spot by the Wedgewood teacups and saucers. The entrance from the side of the Moroccan room also had a dizzying effect when I walked in from the threshold hallway. The second floor kids play room struck me as complete dizzying when I walked in. In fact, I felt almost like I was in a different place for a minute. It was a really weird effect, so I took note of it.
I didn’t write down times, but when we were all sitting together initially in the center drawing room near the entrance, I did start to feel colder (could have been drafts) but my stomach also started to hurt. I don’t have an explanation for it because it wasn’t a regular type of stomach cramp you’d experience from food, and I purposely ate a dinner of a salad, which I didn’t think would upset my stomach - in the past, with me it mostly seems to be related to the taking of energy. This continued while we moved to the parquet room and eventually stopped at the point where the older lady was noticed by Christina and Lisa. I also agree with Lisa’s ideas on her – I was starting to feel like it was an older woman wearing black, and her shoes were particularly odd to me. They were black high-heeled shoes, circa 1890, but they had large white ribbons lacing them with black trim. I doubt we can find any historical record of that, but I kept coming back to her shoes. I wanted to keep quiet though because I wanted to see if Lisa was seeing what I was seeing, but I didn’t want to interfere or alter what she was seeing with my ideas. I also remember that her hair was tucked up and curly around the edges and she had a very round, kind face.
I also didn’t really know anything about Woodrow Wilson before this visit, however something kept sticking in my head about him, and I did some research later and he was the president that declared war for World War I. This might have left an imprint on residents of the house at the time.
On the second floor, initially walking in, there was not as much of a dizzying effect as there had been early, but there was still energy in the room that I recognized as being different from the other rooms on that floor, so I decided to check it out. I did keep seeing shadows over the blocks as well as in the corner where the children’s table was. When I moved the magnets around towards the time when we left that room, I definitely freaked out for a moment because I saw very definite movement of a person about the size of a child in the corner of the room, coming towards me. It scared me because there was very definitely a note of interest in what I was doing, and perhaps an intention to move the magnets along with me. I kept sensing a little boy around the age of six or seven; with very short hair, overalls, and a striped blue and green shirt in that room.
When everyone was hearing the noises on the stairs, I kept picturing a child bouncing a medium size blue ball down the stairs. It seemed like a little boy, possibly the one in the room nearby. There were noises I heard that sounded similar to a bouncing ball as well during the times we were hearing rustling and bouncing. The rustling might have even been from a bat we discovered on the third floor, however.
Becky Ray:This was a very interesting investigation. I personally did not capture anything out of the ordinary on video or audio, however I did experience a few things I could not explain including temperature changes and the smell of kerosene a few times.
One thing we did that seemed to increase activity was experiment with playing different audio including music and speeches from the past. While I was playing a turn of the century music box everyone seemed to notice sounds coming from throughout the house.
While on the second floor I sat with Jennifer and Tania in one of the rooms and definitely felt as though a child were in that room with us. In one corner I kept seeing slight shadow movements that I could not recreate from any of the light sources. Tania also saw this shadow movement from the other side of the room.
It should be noted I had shoulder surgery the day prior to this investigation and was on pain killers so I wasn't as observant as I normally am, which is why I'm looking forward to returning for a follow up to see if we can repeat some activity.
Jennifer Sprague:I did experience a few audio things while on this investigation. At times I felt that I heard a few noises as if somebody were walking up the stairs, but believe that may have been caused by echos of others moving around.
I had a few experiences where Becky and I smelled a faint hint of kerosene that became stronger.
Overall a quiet investigation for me.Looking forward to going back.
We were all in the middle drawing room around midnight chatting and Lisa said that she heard something odd. I verified the sound (which sounds like a squeak on the audio) and was attempting to explain that I thought it was from outside the main door when a voice exclaims something. This is an 11-second clip and the voice is at the 10-second mark. We were back on the first floor for the second time, after going up to the second and third floors and then back down.
The noise that Lisa reacted to was something I also heard in real time, it was a loud thump or bang that I thought was on the front porch, which is just outside the ladies drawing room. Unfortunately, the audio didn't pick that up nearly to the extent that we heard it.
Submitted by Edward